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Today marks a cornerstone in the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign as we take a stand against a term that has entered the vernacular of our mainstream culture. Commonplace in conversation, media, and pop-culture, the “R-word” or “retard(ed)” has become accepted despite its laden and derogatory meaning felt by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For too long, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have had to overcome challenges put forth through stereotypes – and indeed a great societal hurtle is the rhetoric instilled within our culture.

One of our most overlooked and disenfranchised minorities, people with disabilities deserve the same respect and dignity that we each expect. Let us give a voice to the voiceless and as we work to recognize the consequences of our language.

It is my hope that our community will continue to drive much needed change towards inclusion, working to end the use of the R-word.  Help Spread the Word to End the Word and in turn, create a community of acceptance for all people.

For more info on the campaign, visit www.r-word.org.

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